Yesterday, Honda delivered its first Fit EV electric car to private buyers--or, more accurately, private lease customers, since the car isn't available for outright sale.
Only 1,100 lucky lessors in a small handful of states will ever get behind the wheel of a 2013 Honda Fit EV, because for Honda it's solely a "compliance car," produced to meet California zero-emission vehicle mandates.
Which is too bad, because as we noted in our late-June drive report, we really liked the Honda Fit EV.
Not only is its 118-MPGe rating the highest efficiency of any car in the U.S., but it's peppy to drive, has most of the virtues of the standard Honda Fit from which it's derived, and brings a level of fun and sportiness to small electric cars that the current Nissan Leaf can't hope to match.
To highlight the fact that the first Fit EVs are now reaching Honda dealers in California, we're posting a short video we made from behind the wheel of the electric Fit.
Note especially the two sets of acceleration, one of the car's strong points.
First, there's an uphill stretch after a stoplight and turn. Unfortunately, our progress was blocked by a slow-moving sport-utility vehicle.
Then there's the uphill freeway on-ramp, always a good test of any car's ability to go from a standstill to a safe merging speed in a limited distance under challenging circumstances.
In both cases, the Fit EV did just fine--whether in Sport mode or Normal--convincing us that it's an electric car we could live with for almost any around-town duties.
Too bad that most Honda buyers will never see one.